My Review of the Paterno Report

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture
February 10, 2013 at 3:35p

The Paterno Report - a response to the Freeh Report on Penn State's role in the Jerry Sandusky tragedy - was released this morning. It was no surprise; the Paternos made it known that they had commissioned a response to what former FBI director Louis Freeh compiled last year.

It's important to remember a few things about the Freeh report:

1. It was commissioned by Penn State. Freeh's team consisted of former FBI agents and federal prosecutors whom his firm selected.

2. The report was released to Penn State trustees and the general public simultaneously without being reviewed by the Penn State general counsel on July 12, 2012.

3. The report was "deeply critical of the administration of former university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, late coach Joe Paterno and former university vice president Gary Schultz."

I have no appetite to do 3,000 words on this tragedy again. Instead, I've storified tweets from when I read it in real-time. I realize how obnoxious that is. Follow me on Twitter, or don't. That's not really the point of this exercise.

In short: If the Freeh Report was flawed, the Paterno Report took took it to a whole new, sad level.


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smith5568's picture

Thanks Ramzy. I decided not to read this report because I had a feeling it was going to be just as you have portrayed it. Your synopsis has spared me the time and inevitable frustration. Do you ever wish you could just shake these people? 

cplunk's picture

and if you really read the entire Affordable Care Act then if I ever run into you in person I am buying you a bottle of the booze of your choice, so long as you keep it below $100. I'm in awe, but I'm not rich.

buck-I.8's picture

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but as part of a research thesis, I too read that rather extensive bill.

cplunk's picture

Alright then, you are eligible for a bottle as well.

buckeyedude's picture

I think you meant "expensive" bill?



Brutus's picture

I like how Sue Paterno is being portrayed as the champion of this effort to clear her husband's name.  We are supposed to believe that JoePa, at 75, was too feeble minded to grasp the concept of child molestation, but now Sue Paterno at 80+, is hiring lawyers and former statesmen and leading the charge to correct the injustice that is the Freeh Report.  Paterno's children, and anyone else affiliated to his estate, have paid for this opinion piece in order to protect the Paterno brand and they are using Sue Paterno as the face because everyone will feel bad for the little old lady.  If you want to see something really gross, go to and look at how sleek and sexy they made this report.  It's meant to appeal to the stupid who think, "Wow, nice site.  This must all be true."

BED's picture

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

buckeyedude's picture

You too? Now I don't feel so bad.



GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

I think the victims should go after Paterno's estate.
Mrs. Paterno is an awful excuse for a human being

cajunbuckeye's picture

Thanks Ramzy, for rolling up the sleeves and doing the heavy lifting. The entire situation is reprehensible and it appears the end is nowhere in sight.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

It's truly mind-boggling how, not only can the Joepologists ignore the evidence, but twist it in such a way as to preserve the "Penn St. Way" by bashing USC and OSU. "Exceptionally delusional" would be the phrase to describe the die-hard Paterno loyalists.

Edit: what is failed to be reported in the mainstream, is the obvious connections between the murder of Ray Gricar, and the possibility that the Second Mile was used to pimp out young boys to high profile individuals. The story goes much deeper than we think.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Mush's picture

Great work as always Ramzy !

faux_maestro's picture

My review of the Paterno report:

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.


Everyone should make it their own personal priority to NEVER allow the guilty parties at PSU to get away with this and turn the story into them being the real victims. They can worm and lie and BS all the want, they can disavow whatever report they don't agree with and they can ignore everyone who doesn't agree with their POV, but the truth of the matter is they, ALL OF THEM, dropped the ball. Their denial should never be grounds for any kind of vindication or either JoePa or themselves. Great report Ramzy. I wouldn't have wanted to write another story on this again, either.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

TBDBITL0509's picture

Thanks for taking the brunt of the time and frustration, Ramzy. Your recap is pretty much what I figured it would be. Also, ...  I can't believe that exists. Good share, Brutus.

ek68's picture

I agree with  IBS&G. I will NOT be reading the Paterno report. Thanks RAMZY, for your report as always, well written. I still kinda struggle with the sanctions the NCAA brought down on the program. The kids there today had nothing at all to do with this nor did any player during this period (as far as I know) as well. The real criminals will get their day. Jerry (the molester in prison) & all involved in the cover up will be punished. Joe's passing though sad, probably saved him from more shame & disgrace.




Buckeyeneer's picture

Thank you. I pretty much loath Penn State fans these days. There are many good ones out there to be sure, but you sure as hell won't find many on message boards.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

dubjayfootball90's picture

referencing tatgate in the report? ugh.... Wish I would have bet on that scenario...  Wow...

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

penult's picture

Thank you, Ramzy's. Well done. I can't believe they actually thought they could get away with leaving out the "after talking it over with Joe..." part of Curley's statement. 

hodge's picture

This should be on Deadspin's front page right now.  Fanstastic.

southbymidwest's picture

"Penn State facilities were sanctuary for Jerry Sandusky to commit child rape. He was given free access to them for over a decade after his retirement. He was in a Penn State box at a football game the weekend before he was arrested in 2011. He worked out in Penn State facilities for years after the allegations began to pile up. This is a tragedy that was without peer that had plenty of enablement beyond the rapist himself."
THIS. The Paternos can't have it both ways. Either Joe knew/suspected what was going on but chose to ultimately look the other way so as to not besmirch his legacy or the machine that was Penn State football, or he was a doddering old fool who had long ago lost his iron grip on the machine. Either way, it still makes my stomach turn.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Thanks for the analysis.  I wasn't about to read this latest load of BS from the Paternos.  This report isn't going to change anybody's minds.  The Paternopologists will feel as if this validates their views, and the critics won't buy it.  I doubt many people who think Joe is culpable will read this and think "oh maybe Joe isn't culpable".  
As far as sanctions go, sanctions against USC and OSU hurt plenty of people that were not involved in those violations as well.  That's the nature of NCAA sanctions.  While it may not necessarily be fair, they're designed to punish a program and make sure that they don't make the same mistakes again.

Class of 2010.

Citrus's picture

I did a little reading of the other attached reports. Not that I don't trust Ramzy, I always check this sorta thing out for myself. I agree mostly with Ramzy's analysis, certainly with the gist of it. However, I would add that it seems the report is attempting to defend the notion of a "cover-up." That is Paterno actively working and conspiring to make sure no one finds out. It does not focus as much on the idea that Paterno knew or should have known. This is the one part of the Freeh report that may be open to criticism. It seems to me that passivity was Paterno's problem. He let it happen and did nothing.
I think the shocking part for most is that Paterno knew Sandusky was raping children yet he did nothing to stop it. The Paterno attached reports have a difficult time addressing that.

Also, the reports try to shift the burden of proof to that reserved for a criminal trial. This isn't a beyond reasonable doubt situation. The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that Paterno knew yet did nothing.


Agreed. For me, it's a matter of conscience on JoePa's part. Why the hell not do anything unless the thought of child rape is merely a blip on your radar? It's easy to look away when a person is a coward or an ignorant and naive old fool. Takes real strength to do the right thing. Paterno and the administration had NONE of it.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

However, I would add that it seems the report is attempting to defend the notion of a "cover-up."

This is such a strawman. Jim Tressel covered up violations by not reporting them. But did he actively encourage players to cheat?

The tone of the entire Paterno Report is one of disbelief and having taken offense to even suggesting Joe could do wrong. It absolves everyone from fault: Sandusky was an evil genius. Because of his diabolicaly cunning, absolutely no one - law enforcement, Penn State, The Second Mile, and most especially - Joe Paterno - had any idea. 

And that's not true at all. At all. This makes the entire report difficult to accept.

Citrus's picture

Exactly. That's what I was getting at. Straw men abound.

BuddhaBuck's picture

<haven't had my coffee yet comment>
Hey Sue, we get it. Joe didn't buy Sandusky a house to commit his crimes in or sell the e-mails he received in exchange for tattoos. And because he didn't do either of those things, the NCAA should not have punished the university.
</haven't had my coffee yet comment>

Don't text while driving.

Alhan's picture

Jay Paterno was in the studio with Mike and Mike this morning.  I probably shouldn't have listented to it while I was driving, but I made it to work safely.
It sounded like Golic was starting to pick apart Jay's arguments about how Joe should still be revered because he never really knew anything by the time I turned off the car.  Did anyone catch the rest of it?  I'm hoping they crushed his excuses.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

gumtape's picture

Mike Golic came down to this: Being in locker rooms his entire life he has no idea how Sandusky could have been investigated in 1998 and Joe Paterno not know anything about it. Head coaches tend to be control freaks. Jay was making the argument that criminal investigations are confidential and that it would have been illegal for Paterno to have been notified. In that context, the 2001 incident should have been a much bigger deal than it was made at that time. However, the Freeh report obviously disputes this assertion.
It is nice to hear a domer also echo similar sentiments as most rational human beings.
And greenie says you should read this:

High and tight boo boo

TBDBITLinWIScantSON's picture

Was the Ed Rife investigation a criminal one, that JT should not have know about? 
Sorry. Obligatory. But it's part of the reason I harbor no empathy for PSU; not the admin., staff, (most) fans, the players and certainly not that self-serving family. Spiteful, yes. But what's good for the goose...


penult's picture

I mistakenly turned it to Mike and Mike on the way to work for a minute.  All I heard was them passing along Phil Knight's new opinion and that was all I could take.  But, at least we can all go back to the unanimous opinion that sweat shop owner millionaire is truly an evil person.  He said he didn't read the Freeh report thoroughly and jumped to a conclusion, which makes me wonder if he stopped to think who paid for the Paterno report, much less actually read any of it.

Jack Fu's picture

I just want to make sure I have this straight.
Report commissioned by Penn State which found several of Penn State's leaders, including Joe Paterno, at fault = biased.
Report commissioned by family of Joe Paterno which seeks to absolve Joe Paterno and only Joe Paterno = unbiased.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Report commissioned by Penn State which found several of Penn State's leaders, including Joe Paterno, at fault = biased.

The term that the report uses for the Freeh Report is "self-serving." I'm not sure how they landed on that, but that's what they claim it is.

Which is abundantly ironic. If the Freeh Report is self-serving...what is the Paterno Report?

Maestro's picture


vacuuming sucks

Alhan's picture

Oh bravo, Maestro!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Pam's picture

I think the Paterno's believe that because Joe never told any of them what he knew about Jerry Sandusky, that he too, knew nothing. Joe was a few years younger than my Dad. My Dad NEVER discussed work at home, not even to my Mom (she told me later she didn't even know how much he made) (See Men, Mad). That was very typical of the men of that generation. If he had say, told Sue, I believe that a mother of 5 and grandmother to 17 would have seen to it that Joe did more than go to his "superiors" (what a joke, he had none).  She is defending the Joe that presented the "success with honor" facade. IMO, there is no way she would be doing this if she knew the truth. In that regard, I feel sorry for her.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I think you seriously underestimate the lunacy that Penn Staters have revealed to the rest of the world. There are thousands upon thousands of people who now know what Joe knew and still defend that very facade. I'm willing to buy some of what you are saying in that maybe Joe didn't tell his wife what he knew but if this scenario has told us anything its that the Cult of Paterno is ingrained deep into people and I'm not willing to give Sue that pass-maybe she did know what Joe knew. I don't care how many kids she has-financial asses were on the line if Joe and Jerry and co. met a downfall. This entire Penn State thing has shown a side of a small portion of humanity that absolutely disgusts me and in my world, Sue is the rule, not the exception. Nothing in her dealings with the world makes me think she'd do a damned thing. She, like everyone else, would toe the line Joe told her to toe.
Just my .02

Pam's picture

I wasn't talking about Penn Staters and their lunacy. I was talking about Sue Paterno. In my heart I believe she is decent person who had know idea what was going on and still doesn't.

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

She still doesn't???
The only thing she doesn't is care

BrewstersMillions's picture

Well you certainly have a more positive outlook than me. The whole thing disgusts me-as I'm sure it does for you as well. I just have no reason to believe anyone that close to Joe is doing\saying\thinking anything other than the masses. I just can't buy that she doesn't know what's going on now. Even if Joe adhered to an older way of dealing with his family about work. Lets assume she didn't know-that's a leap I'm not entirely worried about making. The truth is out there now and she, Jay, Franco, Phil Knight, everyone who's opinion would sway the masses at PSU still stand by what they thought Joe was. I do wish I had your optimism, but I just can't give Sue a pass here. Maybe before if she didn't in fact know but the truth has come out. Joe hung himself in the grand jury and if she has been able to shut that fact out of her life and not read\hear about it-then she needs to teach a class on avoiding news in this day and age. 
My point about Penn State fans as a whole speaks to the fact that to date no one has come out with any contrition or acceptance so I have to reason to believe Sue is any different.

NC_Buckeye's picture

My point about Penn State fans as a whole speaks to the fact that to date no one has come out with any contrition or acceptance so I have to reason to believe Sue is any different.

There's a minutely small population of them based on casual observation. And they prefer not to discuss this when in the presence of other Penn State fans for obvious reasons. I think in the cult assigning any blame to Paterno will get you a shiv.

gobucks96's picture

Sorry Pam, but she's more interested in protecting what her husband became then what is right....
My empathy is taken for those who were abused by the monster Sandusky..

NC_Buckeye's picture

Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN also deconstructed the Paterno-family report (although in not as much detail as you did Ramzy)

skiehl's picture

Ramzy is always my favorite read on 11w

puff daddy's picture

joe knew about victim 2.
i'd fire mcqueary off my staff,for not kicking sanduskys' ass and calling authorities to crime scene.
penn st. allowed sandusky to opperate his habitual molestation at penn states satellite  behrend campuss near erie, pa. for 8 years.
penn st should have death penalty----------------
i hope the courts do not throw out the penn st case against ncaa,and bring in the cameras to display the utmost ignorance in sports history.this aught to be great to watch every day.